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Unexpected Dangers of Sports Tailgating

Posted on May 12, 2017 by Martin Banks

Sports tailgating can be a thrilling way to experience a sports team’s culture. The act of tailgating — where fans celebrate in the vicinity of a sports stadium before and after a game with drinks and food — often involves a variety of dedicated fans. In many cases, it can be a fun way to immerse yourself in the excitement of sports, though there are also a number of unexpected dangers associated with sports tailgating.

Tailgating can be fun and accident-free, and, being aware of potential mishaps, you can better avoid the potential of them occurring:

Rowdy Tailgaters


Even if you’re of sound mind, there’s always the potential of being confronted by intoxicated tailgaters in your vicinity. In fact, a study found one in 12 are people drunk at sporting events — that doesn’t include those sitting with a buzz. The research from the University of Minnesota found those who tailgate, specifically, were 14 times more likely to depart the game intoxicated.

Considering that drunkenness can lead to poor judgment and irrationality, fights and unnecessary confrontation may arise.

Expect some people tailgating near you to be intoxicated, and stick to a group of people you know can handle their alcohol. If confronted by another group who are intoxicated, do your best to avoid them or tailgate elsewhere. Even though it can be a nuisance, moving your tailgating elsewhere can be a better alternative than serious injury.

Glass Injuries

St Louis Rams v Detroit Lions

Glass bottles are common at tailgates, often in the form of alcoholic beverages. Often, those handling the bottles are in an intoxicated state and will discard them at will. Even if it’s not intentional, discarding or throwing a bottle can result in injury or damage to public property. Be aware of those in the vicinity who have appeared to drink too much and are holding glass bottles.

In addition, it’s safer in general to opt for cans over bottles. Cans are easier to throw away and won’t shatter into thousands of dangerous pieces if it drops, which at a tailgate — with many activities going on — is likely.

Fire Dangers


Tailgates often feature a grill, supplying a variety of tasty grilled foods like hot dogs, hamburgers and corn on the cob. Unfortunately, everything from a thrown football to intoxicated passers-by can knock into the grill and cause a fire. As a result, it’s prudent to bring a fire extinguisher.

What Insurance Covers

Unless you have comprehensive insurance, many of the instances above are unlikely to be covered. Still, there are a number of things that can be covered with extensive auto, homeowners or renters’ insurance. For example, an opposing fan vandalizing your vehicle or a negligent grill incident near your car can be covered by comprehensive auto insurance in some cases.

Similarly, if you throw a football and break someone’s speakers or valuables, that could potentially be covered by your home, renters or condo insurance. It’s worth checking with your insurance company for what can be covered if an accident does occur.

Have a great time at a tailgate, and embrace the beautiful energy of a sporting event, though not without heeding close attention to the potential dangers above.

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